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Book Discussion on the Right Path

Series/Special. Joe Scarborough discusses his book 'The Right Path: From Ike to Reagan, How Republicans Once Mastered Politics--and Can Again.' New. (Stereo)




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Ronald Reagan 11, America 5, Washington 5, Chris Christie 4, Obama 4, Colin Powell 4, Wisconsin 3, Scott Walker 3, Alabama 3, New England 2, England 2, South Carolina 2, Msnbc 2, New Jersey 2, Jimmy Carter 2, Florida 2, Joe Scarborough 2, South Florida 2, New Hampshire 1, Iowa 1,
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  CSPAN    Book Discussion on the Right Path    Series/Special. Joe Scarborough discusses his book 'The  
   Right Path: From Ike to Reagan, How Republicans Once Mastered...  

    December 8, 2013
    12:15 - 12:56am EST  

>> joe scarborough former republican congressman coast of "msnbc"'s warning show presents his thoughts on the current state of the republican party. the author argues that in order for the party to restore relevancy it must look to the likes of presidents dwight eisenhower and ronald reagan. this is about 40 minutes. [applause] >> do you want me on the right of the left? >> he follows directions well. hi everybody. he is on a marathon book tour.
how many shows have you done? >> eight it feels like a thousand. this is like the grateful dead. >> what a great crowd. thank you so much for coming. can you all here is? does this work? speaking of friday that is what our show celebrates. thank you so much for capturing it. we appreciate it in the platform you have created for this show because joe created morning joe has really led to the most exciting three hours that you can find on television every day in civil discourse and a place where people can really get a lot of different points of view. let's figure out the room. first of all how many republicans here today, looking for the right path? >> we have got a few. >> how many democrats? c. yeah. >> it's "msnbc."
>> how many independents max? this is our show. this is morning joe lies. >> it really is. it's all about friday, friday of independence and it starts with an mika and myself. as you know i'm a conservative from the deep south and mika is a liberal from the northeast. make a's dad is very excited rand u.s. foreign policy for years. [applause] you may be familiar with my dad's work to matt. he ran little league baseball. [applause] i was raised in the southern baptist church across the deep south and he of course was raised as a young marxist in the greater manhattan area. >> thank you very much. how many republicans voted for obama here? >> nobody's going to admit that. >> stand up.
stand up. show yourself proudly. [applause] i didn't know anyone did that anymore. >> he used to ask that questions how many democrats and how many republicans? how many republicans voted for obama? me, a change. now they go to know. >> it's interesting because the republicans who voted for obama and the republican party itself there seems to be a lot of confusion and a lot of dissatisfaction and discouragement. you wrote this book for a number of reasons but my question is did you plan the timing of this book? >> yes i did. i'm going to drop this thing right before the republican party shinki in d.c. takes the beer truck strayed over the cliff with a government shutdown that will drive their numbers to an all-time low. then i started thinking if it's
at an all-time low no one will believe that the republicans can come back to power. at least we have a reason for hope. the timing has been. >> it's unbelievable because when you read it you will see it's exactly, it fills the void that a lot of people feel when they are democrats and they want good candidates on both sides to raise the level of the national conversation and raise the quality of our candidates. or a republican who wants the party to stop. >> i don't know if i'd say it quite that way. >> we showed some polls this morning on the show. it's unbelievable. the president's approval ratings are at an all-time low. he is upside down tree 2-1 2-1 people think he's messing up
the economy. health care obviously those numbers are low and then you look at congress. a 9% approval rating. that just ain't right. there something wrong with that. >> that's a family cat. >> i talk about it in the book. her mic is not on, exactly. we set it up that way. >> like the show. [laughter] i read about in the book there are two republican parties right now. there is the republican party and wishing to d.c.. it is such, especially if you go -- it's such an ideologically driven party that does not allow a variety of views. i'm not talking about liberal views and conservative views. i'm talking about the variety of views we had for instance when
the heritage foundation -- heritage was about education reform and getting a lot of different conservatives together. they would fight like heck about the best way forward on education reform, the best way forward on tax reform. jack kempe would have horrible fights with phil gramm and others and then they would come together and come up with a tax reform plan. there were to be constant battles on the budget. there were a lot of different ways forward in the conservatives we believe even into the 90s, 1994 we always talked about a legislative laboratory of ideas and you talked about the place of ideas and we talked about the free marketplace of ideas. we would close the doors and go downstairs and debate nonstop among ourselves until we came up with the best plan for reform moving for it. just not the case anymore.
if you veer off the path a little bit to the right or a little bit to the left there are ideological witch hunts and people suggesting you are insufficiently conservative and insufficiently republican. that is the 9% party. that's the record low party. if you go outside of the city that i love and that i love living in and working in, but clinically you go outside of the city and the republican party is a pretty vibrant party. we control 60% of the governors seats. we control a majority of the statehouses. we control the majority of the state senate seats in the statehouse seats. i mean you know look at what chris christie did in new jersey. look what scott walker's doing in wisconsin and these people that aren't just thriving in the deep south.
i talk about this to matt. we have been trapped as the party of the deep south. basically all the places where i've lived, that is where republicans do well. florida, mississippi, alabama, georgia. if you live in new england the chances are pretty good you will be represented by a democrat. we have started to break out of that sort of deep south strategy and i talk how -- about how we can do that in the book. >> speaking of the book, does this work lacks. >> i'm joking. that one doesn't work. [laughter] >> it's interesting because you are a proud republican. your record is consistently conservative over decades except for one issue.
and yet you were being called the worst names i have ever seen on twitter. along with a good list of conservatives. >> i was going to say how do you know when the extremists in your party have jumped? you know that when they start calling you names. a 95% acu rating overall these years. i have gotten 92% of americans on my side so i'm pretty good on that one. calling charles krauthammer a liberal, tom coburn or liberal, scott walker liberal, chris christie a liberal because they didn't believe we should shut down the government? the government shutdown strategy was about the stupidest strategy imaginable. you could see that coming, that disaster coming.
as my professor said like a freight train out of the mist, slowly coming your direction about to run you over. no. you could see it for four weeks. no. i mean, come on. get out of the way. that is what krauthammer walker and myself for saying and they didn't do it. i talked to somebody that was, we will just say he played pretty big role in this strategy. i went into his office and i said dude, what were you thinking? you just thought wrong. your problem is and this is what krauthammer said, the crisis. he said these guys think this makes them look more manly or something.
they don't realize it makes them look like idiots. and i said to this guy, this would he like the coach of the dallas cowboys. deciding when it was fourth and 31 instead of hunting they run the quarterback sneak. maybe you think that would make you more manly. i would guess the fans in the stadium with a to differ. that would make them stupid and that is what we were doing. it's not enough anymore for my party, from my conservative movement to simply cite. that proves nothing. if we are going to fight, fight smart. fight about rings that matter. fight about things that reconnect you with middle america and make sure you fight to win. we haven't done that in a very
long time. >> do you see how excited he is about this? that is why he had to write this book and thank god he did. we should open it up to everybody else's questions. we have to go to politico. that's part of the message to be able to not be afraid to appeal to democrats by the way. >> by the way, that's one of the things that it desecrates me -- exacerbates me. i write in this book at the end about why colin powell is a good republican. and they knew what they would say. he loves democrats. exactly. that's the problem. this is a guy who sounds like a republican on education reform. this is a guy that sounds like a
republican on tax reform. this is a guy who sounds like a real republican, a real republican when it comes to foreign policy. do you know what we were saying back in the 1990s? you never, ever, ever go to war unless it is the absolute last option available. then when you go, colin powell always said we are going to throw everything at them. we will achieve our objective. we are going to kill the enemy. we are going to capture their leaders and then we are going to bring our chips back home to their families. that was the powell doctrine and that is a conservative doctrine. and we forgot that over the past decade. so what i say to my friends that get very angry about me continuing to talk about colin powell the good republican, the fact that he hasn't voted republican over the past two elections should tell you
something. when colin powell starts voting for a nominee and ted cruz starts voting for a nominee at the same time that is when we start winning presidential elections again. as long as we keep dividing the ideological camp within our own party and look with suspicion on anybody that doesn't believe exactly what we believe, we are going to keep splitting the alleged dread. we are going to keep splitting our party and we are going to keep losing elections. i know there are a lot of people a lot of people and in here that think that's a great idea. i don't. i don't want hillary in the white house for eight years after president obama 70 white house for eight years. i don't. >> ready for hillary. >> no, no. i'm breaking out in hives. by the way i love her personally. >> they are friends. you are friends with the
democrats? >> eye of the greatest respect for her and i cannot wait until we figure out how we will be her. >> well said. the last two questions i will turn into one. ronald reagan is on the cover and you write about ronald reagan. you talk about the party being split up right now. how do you bring it back together and tell us what you write in the book about that and could he win today? is that part of the problem? >> he could win today. i will say this though. one of the things that concerns me and it has concerned me for quite some time. it doesn't seem right now, even though we are divided into these camps, the actual ideology and issues don't seem to matter as much as say anger and rage. chris christie and i will not name any names because i have learned not to name names of talk radio types that do things that drive our party over the cliff.
>> you are not going to talk about radio types? >> no, i'm not. chris christie gets elected. he wins 60 whatever% of the vote he wins the majority of the hispanic voters and gets 20% of african-american voters which is still too low but it's a vast improvement over the four, five or 6% that we have been getting over decades. he wins among women as if pro-life northeast governor in a blue state harriet he does all these remarkable things and a certain talk radio type says he is not eschew conservative and he says if he wants to prove that he is a true conservative in needs to call a rock obama a liar. he was serious. he was serious. to which i said how many times did jimmy carter get called a liar by ronald reagan?
never. the closest -- somebody sent me this e-mail and said that closest ronald reagan ever got was after jimmy carter said he liked taking cold showers in the morning to which ronald reagan during the whole energy crisis, ronald reagan's only comment was, a man who will tell you he enjoys taking a cold shower will lie about anything. [laughter] but guess what? you laugh, right? that's the idea. all these conservatives say reagan, reagan. guess what? year was the genus of ronald reagan. he was conservative but he was moderate temperamentally. he was a hero to the right and he was friends with tip o'neill and yes he was friends with tip o'neill. tip o'neill sunset the only thing ronald reagan and tip
o'neal hated more than each other's philosophy was getting nothing done in washington. they had a hard and fast rule. we are going to fight like hell all day and then at six at likely become friends. they were church or their word. ronald reagan used that not just for his advantage but for the country's advantage. nearly 241 marines were killed in beirut on that terrible sunday back in the early 1980s. all the democrats were called together by tip o'neill. richard reeves writes about this in his book and i mention it as well in mind. they were called out in a thought tip o'neill was going to give them a strategy about how to move forward in what to say during this tragedy and talk about how the democratic approach would have been so much better than the ronald reagan approach. instead o'neal got them together got up in front of the microphone and he said to them today we are not democrats.
today we are americans and if anybody criticizes the commander-in-chief in this time of crisis for our country you won't have ronnie reagan to answer to. you will have tip o'neill. and you don't want to have to answer to me. with that, he was out of the room and for those of you who remember how tip o'neill ran the house of representatives, i don't have to tell you the rest of the story. nobody said anything until ronald reagan and tip o'neill spoke a few weeks later. reagan thanked him and then they commence the debate. reagan could do that and subtwelve could do that because they put their country before their party even though they were fierce partisans. that is what we have lost. we have lost the ability to think as conservatives but to
act as moderates. when we do that we will at least reconnect i think more with mainstream america instead of seeming to be so overly driven by ideology. >> the book is a touchdown -- touchstone for someone he conversations in the media has a -- if you think there's a microphone here or i can come to you. is this microphone working? >> yes, it is. >> i don't believe you. [laughter] >> the the microphones are going off all over europe and i hear they're not coming on again.
>> i'm looking forward to reading your book. the country is more and more of polarized and it's happening because of the media but also because of the way the party in power is gerrymandering districts. the more we do that the further apart we get in the more the media reinforces it and i'm not very hopeful and i'm wondering wondering -- >> give us some hope. >> i am actually hopeful. people used ask what's the one thing if he could pass one thing that would make a difference in washington and the house especially and i always said term limits. that changed a couple of years ago. it's now fixing this gerrymandered district problem. [applause] right now we have 435 seats in the house of representatives and
3235 are competitive and maybe 15 lowey lose their seats in the list representative. that's a lot of crazy and both sides and i will tell you what else it does. to make sure we have an even lower turnover than the old soviet pullout euro which is kind of frightening but it is true. that's not democracy the way for for -- democracy was intended to be. james madison set up the house of representatives along with other founders so we could move with the changing of opinions of americans every two years. that just doesn't happen the way it should be. there is this sclerosis that has set in. i am hopeful though and i will tell you why am hopeful and subnineteen tell you the same thing. we have over the past five or six years probably given 300 or 400 speeches either at events like this or colleges or civics clubs across america. i can tell you we say the same
thing everywhere we go. the overwhelming majority of time most americans agree on the big issues. they really true -- do. i think it's exaggerated by gerrymandering and by talk radio. i think it's exaggerated by certain shows on cable. i think it's exaggerated by blogging and i think people go to their corners and it does polarized the political class but i will tell you americans are ready for pragmatic leadership. i think when we see somebody who is finally got the courage to stand up to the extremists in their own party we are going to see somebody break out and win big again. >> i think this audience, the interest in mrs. hopeful because there are so many diatribes on hate out there that sell and what we want to see and is
hopeful to see a diverse audience that's interested in solving this problem. >> i am sam. the chamber got off its and got in the game. >> we are talking about alabama wanting a special election. you really had a guy running and i want to be gracious. he was crazy as hell. that's the only way i can put it he was a danger to the republican party. this is a man that i wouldn't trust with an electric can opener let alone voting in the house of representatives. bradley earned main street conservative republican that is so conservative that after he won the tea party was trying to claim he was one of theirs but
here's the difference. bradley byrne is a businessman. he is rational and he is reasonable. i wish he had been elected governor of the state of alabama and as you said the chamber of commerce said enough. joe reagan said enough. other business leaders said enough. we are not going to give a blank check to these people that are going to hold their government hostage. and you knew that this just might be happening. halfway through the government shutdown when the coke brother said to heck with this. we are out of here. we don't want the government shutdown and don't even think about defaulting. the united states needs to pay the bills that they owe. so when they made that move i started thinking, hold on a second. why did they wait so long but then i started you know maybe
just maybe the business community is going to step up. there are a lot of people because of the gerrymandered districts that have absolutely no fear. they think they can do whatever they want to do, say whatever they want to say think it's good for them back home. they don't care how it impacts the republican party and how it impacts are rand in the two-party system, how it impacts washington d.c. and how it impacts this country. they know where it hurts. i would like to see the chamber take four or five republican incumbents right now and just say we are looking at you. we are going to see how you are going to vote and if you are responsible, great. if you're irresponsible do you know or going to do? were not going to put money behind a liberal. we will find someone who is pro-life, pro-gun, pro-tax
reform or education reform and throw her money behind them and good luck making them look like liberals. >> so c-span can hear your questions we have a couple here. [laughter] >> the this is an easy one. how many navy blue sweaters do you have? >> l.l. bean, $29.99 nes about seven. >> i'm glad you changed your shirt. >> as i said this morning i was wearing the same thing on "the daily show" last night that i'm wearing this morning and everyone was very upset. my theory is this. if it's comfortable enough to sleep in than is comfortable enough to work in. the funny thing is we have such a crazy schedule. i think actually you found the sweaters.
>> i love this thing. >> the same socks to match. >> the same socks to match. l.l. bean. >> it so hard to get ready in the morning. >> seriously mika wakes up at 3:30 in the morning and my record is i got a call from chris lake at 5:56 on the upper west side. hello? dude, it's 5:56. i get up and i run out of bed and grab a sweater and grab some pants and the course i don't have to look for my socks. i stick my head under the faucet it's like a brillo pad. at 6:00 a.m., good morning it's 6:00 a.m. on the east coast.
i hate you. >> joe and mika thank you for being here. my name is adlai and i'm a fellow floridian, south florida the other half of the state. a graduate of the university medical school and this question is direct did to the issue of health care. first a statement. i can't tell you how disgusted i am with washington. i cannot tell you how disgusted i am with the democrats and i cannot tell you how disgusted i am with the republicans. we are running at 18% gdp right now. clearly we are probably going to break 20% of gdp in the not-too-distant future. there is no sense of urgency on the part of the republicans or the democrats and the issue that i have, colleagues such as phil rob, my mentor from johns hopkins andy harris rand paul.
all of these guys, i cannot tell you how disappointed i am in trying to seek some sensibility to fixing this problem. i think we as physicians have taken the brunt of this. no one wants to touch the insurance companies. noaa to touch the legislative issues and no one wants to touch toward. no one wants to touch the other issues. i am curious could you be my intermediary? >> washington needs a therapist. are you one? be the problem with health care reform that we ended up getting the is that it didn't then the cost curve and it didn't handle a lot of the issues you are talking about. there was safe pass on tort
reform because they couldn't get enough votes if there was tort reform in their. big pharma got it cut out. the big hospitals got cut out. there was really no addressing i think the top issues affect that yes we are spending more money per patient than any country in the world. this is not an issue of money. this is an issue of having a system that doesn't reward good outcomes. i tell this story and i will say very briefly, in 2004 i had back surgery in 1990 from nine and in 2000 my back went out when we were in cleveland at the vice presidential debates. i start walking across the floor and my back said no, that's not going to happen. a false flat on my face and i'm across from the cleveland clinic they put me in an ambulance.
if this is pretty funny. they rushed me down there screaming. they drive across the parking lot and rushed me to the cleveland clinic and they keep telling me we will get you to the vest best doctor in america. you are so lucky. dr. lieberman is the s.. finally he comes up. he said well, do you know what dogs do when they get hurt? are you kidding me? he said they go in the corner until they suffer. you have had surgery once. your fairly young. if i give you fusion right now it's going to collapse and three years later you will be for another back surgery in 10 years you will be able to up. you will go home and you will hate my guts but it's what i'm going to do. i went out and i hated his guts.
i was in extreme pain for four to six months. i didn't walk or take a step for four months. all these doctors in florida told me you'd need surgery but you know what? he was right. i'd didn't. i laid in the corner and till i could walk again. then he told me a lot of small things that over time would my back and prove. i found out later the cleveland clinic doctors are rewarded for outcomes instead of operations. instead of tests, instead of the mris they can take. i can show you a thousand pictures of my children and mark can show you 1000 mris i have had my back over the past decade we have got to be more interested in outcomes than in simple testing and i will tell you one other thing and you will understand this.
every time washington talks about health care reform they try to take the biggest con the flesh out of the doctors. i will tell you what the problem with that is. pretty soon i have a good friend who is a surgeon in south florida an orthopedic surgeon. he just announced last week he is not taking medicare anymore because they keep cutting the reimbursements from medicare. so he can either take all medicare patients or no medicare patients. you're either allin or all out. he made the decision, we are going to be all out. there will soon be two tiers of medicare and yeah just like in england. long story short is this, we have got to start all over again. we have the affordable care act and it's the law of the land
that both sides need to start talking about how we perform this to make it work to make it better because i will tom a conservative and libertarian friends walking -- watching who say we don't need health care and of course they say the same time don't touch medicare. and their kids are signing up at the same time. the idea could do nothing and go ' doing nothing before the health care act is pure nonsense. what happens is when a poor mother takes her two children into the emergency room at 11:00 at night guess what? that is not a free lunch. we all pay for them exactly pay for it so it ends up costing the most money. we have got to do this all over again and we got to do it rationally and we are going to have to join arms together republicans and democrats alike
are going to have to come up with a compromise that works for all americans. [applause] >> joe? one more question. >> you got to sign books and go to politico. >> i'm going to answer these questions very quickly. >> iowa and new hampshire and south carolina. [laughter] >> that was easy. he is planning none. >> i like south carolina. i love iowa. and those new hampshire people are some of the best in america. [laughter] >> next question. last question. >> i watch her show religiously. 8:02 to 8:18 in the morning. i am stretching. i'm a strong democrat but your
stand on the background check was really courageous and much appreciated. [applause] a question. i follow politics for a long time and there was a breed of liberal or moderate work republican senators chuck percy all the ways to new england with clifford case and people like that in between. are there any of that breed still left and do we have hope for social moderates or fiscal conservatives? >> both of the parties have gone into their own corridor and of course at the same time there were conservative democrats in the south. you don't see that as much. i will tell you though i am glad to see the republican party. think about it. the 80s and 90s we were the party.
of joe scarborough and tom delay and newt gingrich, carl rove and whoosh. the people driving the debate in our party were from the deep south. now you have chris christie in new jersey. i don't think he's a moderate and i don't think he is a liberal. scott walker and wisconsin. scott is obviously conservative guy but paul ryan out of wisconsin. geographically we are starting to move north. i thought it was interesting you solve kelly ayotte in new hampshire being one of the few people that stood up during the government shut down saying enough is enough. you people are killing me up here. i was glad to see pat toomey take a couple of courageous stance as well on a couple of different issues. i think it's really good news the republican party has broken out of my reach and and is starting to influence elections in the northeast, the midwest and who knows maybe in the far
west. here's the thing. if we want to be a national party again we are going to have to do that. in 2008, 2009, 2010 there wasn't a single republican representing anybody in new england. hopefully we are turning that around because we have to be a national party game. that's only good for republicans but good for the two-party system in the country. thank you so much. i appreciate it. thank you, guys. [applause] >> we will do a book signing and if you can do it as orderly as possible. a.
>> they arrived in coeur d' alene and eagle city in 1884 and he came over from thompson falls montana. he heard about a gold rush. people would find money and gold lying on the ground. everybody was coming from all over the country because of the railroad. they make it display in the papers all over the country about how wonderful the gold rush was and they were trying to build up their clientele and their trains. that was the reason they did that. when he got here it was the worst winter they had since god knows when but it was 30-foot